Titans lacrosse falls to Aspen in season opener

Liking the chemistry

By Than Acuff 

This year marks the second year of existence for the Crested Butte Titans varsity lacrosse program and, compared to last season, they are already appearing ahead of the game early in the season.

 After two weeks of dodging the weather and sharing field space with other spring sports, they got their first look at how they are doing when they scrimmaged Summit High School last week.

While they lost several seniors to graduation last year, they still have a number of key elements in place with faceoff specialist Fraser Birnie still in dominant form and goalie Gavin Fischer in net with a stout and experienced defense in front of him.

“We had one day to really work on everything before the scrimmage, but they pick things up quick,” says head coach Carter Brock. “I thought it went awesome. It was good to see some of the new players thrown into the mix and some of the juniors definitely stepped up.”

The Titans then entered regular season play when they headed to Grand Junction to face the Aspen Skiers on Saturday, March 9. Aspen’s program has been in place for years and made it to the second round of the 4A state tournament last season so they would prove to be a tough challenge for the Titans’ first game of the year.

Aspen jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter as Crested Butte struggled to find the back of the net despite some quality chances.

“They played a zone defense that we could penetrate and the looks were there,” says Brock.

The Skiers then tacked on four more goals in the second quarter, but Crested Butte broke the seal on the Aspen net when Riley Davis scored off an assist from Luke Walton.

The goal would provide some energy for the Titans as they headed back on the field after halftime.

“We came out at the half ready to rock and roll,” says Brock. 

The Titans would end up winning the quarter as Jack Pierson dove across the crease to score for Crested Butte while the Titans’ defense and Fischer held Aspen scoreless.

The game eventually got away from Crested Butte as Aspen scored three more times in the fourth quarter for the 10-2 win. Fischer finished the game with 12 saves.

The Titans have a full slate of games this week, including two more trips to Grand Junction to face Grand Junction and Fruita Monument. The Titans close out the three-game stretch with a game against Montrose on Saturday, March 16 at Columbine Middle School in Montrose at 11 a.m. Both Grand Junction and Fruita Monument got the best of Crested Butte last season, but the Titans took both games against Montrose last year. Until then, Brock and the Titans will continue working.

“We were able to get some work on offense which was great, and the defense is pretty solid and we’re going to try and pull some guys up to play as long stick middies,” says Brock. “I like the chemistry right now.”

Check Also

Big fourth quarter leads to Titans lacrosse win

Home game Thursday, April 11 at 4 p.m. By Than Acuff   The Crested Butte …